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. Kris Taylor KRIS TAYLOR :: DEFENCE / MIDFIELD
. @kristaylor26
. BORN Cannock
. DoB 12.1.1984
. HEIGHT 5ft 9"
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A well known name in the local area, Taylor returned to his hometown club as player/coach in May 2017

Born and bred in Cannock, Taylor hit the headlines as a 14 year-old when, as a schoolboy at Wolves, he was subject to a bid from Premier League champions Manchester United. The move, worth 200,000, was completed in January 2001 and was a record at the time for a player of such a young age

However, in two years at Old Trafford, Taylor failed to break into the United first team, and was released in February 2003. He made his way back to the Midlands, and joined Paul Merson's Walsall. The teenager had to bide his time at the Bescot Stadium, playing for the reserves for a year before being given his full debut in January 2004 at Stoke City. He made ten appearances for the Saddlers that season, they slipped back into League One after a short spell in the Championship. Taylor had impressed sufficiently to earn a new deal

Despite the one year extension, Taylor struggled to establish himself in the side, and was loaned to Conference side Burton Albion in December 2004. He was a revelation in his spell at Eton Park, scoring four times in six games, including a thirty five yard effort against deadly rivals Tamworth

Upon his return to Walsall, a bid from Carlisle United was rejected, with the youngster signing a new two year contract with the Saddlers. He enjoyed a long run in the Walsall first team at the start of the 2005-2006 season, before falling out of favour and returning to Burton on loan in January 2006  until the end of the season

A second relegation for Walsall at the end of the 2005-2006 season saw them start the new campaign in League 2, but a revitalised Saddlers team, led by the likes of Dean Keates, former Hednesford loanee Scott Dann and Taylor, stormed to the title and an immediate return to the third tier

Released by Walsall in the summer of 2007, he returned to League 2 to sign for Hereford United, where became a versatile performer by playing at left back as well as in his more preferred midfield role. Taylor earned his second successive promotion at Edgar Street, as he was a virtual ever present as the Bulls finished third. The following season saw Hereford struggle at the higher level, however, and were relegated at the first time of asking

After leaving Hereford in the summer, he went on trial at another League 2 side in the form of Port Vale. He impressed manager Micky Adams during pre-season, and agreed a short-term deal. After starting the season strongly, he was offered a longer deal, with the Vale supporters partly funding the finance. An up and down campaign for Vale saw them just miss out on the play-offs, although Taylor was offered a new contract to keep him at Vale Park for the 2010-2011 season

A frustrating campaign for the player saw him released at the end of the season, where he took the step down into non-league football by joining Darlington. The club's roller coaster season on and off the pitch saw Taylor released and re-signed during a turbulent campaign, which saw Darlo go out of business

The summer of 2012 saw Taylor return to Port Vale in a bid to stay fit, before signing for AFC Telford United in August 2012. A succession of managers and a poor run of form on he pitch saw Telford fall into the relegation zone, with Taylor struggling to nail down a first team spot. He was allowed to join the Pitmen on an initial month's loan in March 2013 to get match fit

His loan spell was a resounding success, as he quickly became a fixture in the side as they finished in second place in the Evo-Stik Premier League and eventually won promotion to Conference North via the play-offs

With new Telford manager Liam Watson re-shaping his Bucks squad after taking over at the New Buck's Head, Taylor was allowed to see his contract out and immediately linked up with the Pitmen once again in June 2013. He established himself once again as one of the Pitmen's main creative forces in midfield, producing quality balls from corner kicks and free kicks

After scoring his second goal of the season against Altrincham in February 2014, Taylor announced via his Twitter page that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer a day before the Altrincham game, making his man of the match performance and goal a truly heroic act. He underwent successful surgery the week after, with the league recognising his fight by named him as their February 2014 Skrill North player of the month

After ten weeks away and having been given the all-clear to resume his playing career, Taylor made a successful comeback to the Hednesford team as a late substitute in the 3-2 win over Guiseley in April 2014. He gradually played his way back into contention towards the end of the season, playing the whole of the play-off semi-final second leg at Altrincham

Delighted the Hednesford faithful by agreeing a new deal with the club in June 2014 for the forthcoming 2014-2015 Conference North season. However, despite starting the season in the team, he opted to move away from the Pitmen after Rob Smith's controversial decision to let the popular midfielder leave to join Rushall Olympic in October 2014. He cemented his place in the Rushall midfield in the following season and a half with a number of impressive displays as the Pics finished in the top ten twice in a row. There was also a Stafford Senior Cup win to celebrate in April 2016, beating Kidsgrove Athletic 4-1 at Vale Park

Taylor's former Rushall manager Neil Kitching, who was now at Stafford Rangers, moved to sign the experienced midfielder in July 2016 as Rangers looked to an experienced core to their team to consolidate their position at step two following promotion. Alongside a clutch of former Hednesford players, Rangers finished their 2016-2017 season in a mid-table finish, above the Pitmen and having beaten their local rivals three times during the course of the campaign

In May 2017, Neil Tooth was appointed as the new manager of Hednesford, with one of his first decisions taken to bring Taylor back home to Keys Park as play/coach for the 2017-2018 campaign

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. . TEAM FROM TO FEE PLD SUB GLS
. . Wolves 1.7.1998 26.1.2001 Trainee 0 0 0
. . Manchester United 26.1.2001 1.2.2003 200,000 0 0 0
. . Walsall 1.2.2003 4.7.2007 Free 71 22 6
. . Burton Albion 17.12.2004 27.1.2005 Loan 6 0 4
. . Burton Albion 12.1.2006 30.4.2006 Loan 13 2 4
. . Hereford United 4.7.2007 7.8.2009 Free 69 14 3
. . Port Vale 7.8.2009 1.6.2011 Free 65 11 4
. . Darlington 1.6.2011 9.8.2012 Free 35 1 0
. . AFC Telford United 9.8.2012 6.6.2013 Free 16 7 0
. . Hednesford Town 8.3.2013 11.5.2013 Loan 14 1 4
. . Hednesford Town 7.6.2013 7.10.2014 Free 41 12 2
    Rushall Olympic 7.10.2014 1.7.2016 Free N/A N/A N/A
    Stafford Rangers 1.7.2016 8.5.2017 Free N/A N/A N/A
    Hednesford Town 8.5.2017 Present Free N/A N/A N/A
. . KRIS TAYLOR CAREER TOTAL 200,000 407 70 27

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